Grit, Glow & Grace: Katie Hess, Owner of Lotus Wei
Katie Hess is not a woman I know personally (though, after our interview, I feel like I do!). But what she puts out into the world inspires me deeply. I am in awe of how she brings her own personal passion into the world for the greater good. Her flower essence company, Lotus Wei, is blossoming wildly. Her products are already in 15 countries. When I asked her for an interview, she openly accepted. Katie is an incredible example of Grit, Glow & Grace. Take a look!
For people who don’t know you, who are you and what do you do?
I’m a flower alchemist and the founder of Lotus Wei. I collect special flowers with healing qualities that are specifically needed today. I’m the author of Flower Evolution, and a self-taught entrepreneur. Our products are sold in 15 different countries. I started in one-on-one flower therapy consultations in 2001. In 2010, we launched our own set of products.
How did you connect to your purpose?
I began to understand my purpose when I was a kid. I grew up in small towns and spent much of my time exploring and connecting to nature. As an only child, nature was my refuge. The first seven years of my life, I spent just playing in my mother’s garden and running around the alleys in Minneapolis. My mother was a forester and she taught me how to identify different plants. It would have never occurred to me that I could build a business out of this passion of mine.
It wasn’t until I graduated college that I started studying natural remedies, essential oils, and herbs. I met a flower expert in Mexico who came from Madrid, Spain and I started studying under him. His belief was that if we could get 3% of the world’s population on these natural remedies, we could change the course of the future.
This was incredibly inspiring for me and felt like something I could get behind. It also seemed like this was a modality that didn’t have any ceiling. I felt like I could do this work for the rest of my life and never reach the end point, so to speak. It made me feel like I had a tool or a method to help accelerate personal growth for people and help people reach their full potential in a faster way than without it.
From here, I came back to the United States and met Tibetan meditation masters who further grounded me in the work I was doing. And then, it was a matter of me teaching myself the entrepreneurial skills to bring this out into the world. One could get an MBA I guess, but ultimately, it all comes down to our own sense of putting it out there for the greater good.
Being in Mexico taught me the bones of flower essences, the framework and intellectual side of things, and then the meditation masters taught me really solid methods in working with my own mind. When I was working with people one on one, I’d get into it with people and realize these heavy stories they each had. I realized no one in our culture teaches us what to do with these intense emotions, like what happens if we find our partner sleeping with somebody else? What do we do with grief when someone we love dies?
So the mind training techniques became something that I could share with my clients because I’ve tried it for years myself and it works. Healer, heal thyself. You have to get in the trenches of your own self before you can understand and be compassionate for other people, right?
What does spirituality mean to you? How did you connect to your soul or spirit?
Hmmm….so many different ways. One of teachers told me once: when you feel so small and so insignificant, and just like a speck of dirt on the floor, that’s when you become the world. And I think nature does this for us. You go out into the middle of nowhere and suddenly you feel small. You have this sense that there are animals, and there are lakes here, and there are huge mountains, and this earth has been here for 4.5 billion years! I’m like a speck! So, when you feel this way you become the earth. You become that ancient wisdom and that vastness. I believe this is one way.
Another way is through the direct and unbroken lineage of teachers that come before us. The gift of being able to learn from really, really realized teachers who have worked hard on themselves for many generations. This has helped me tremendously to figure out where I am on my path, who I am, and what I’m doing here. So, Mother Nature, the earth and the wisdom of the teachers; that leads to self-realization. By ones self one attains. There’s all the support and guidance in the world out there, but when it comes down to it, we’ve gotta do the work ourselves.
What do you do to keep yourself grounded?
Simple things. Meditation. Even if it’s just meditation moments. Some days are crazy busy and you might only have 5-10 minutes. I think it’s about quality not quantity these days. Flower elixirs, I use them like crazy all day every day. And then just simple things like making sure I eat and drink water and tea, making sure I get enough sleep. I know these seem really simple, but I find more and more with our crazy schedules it’s easy to skip things or wait to have proper self-care. It’s always just the simple things we need to come back to: healthy food, proper sleep, mind training.
What is your dream?
It would be worldwide expansion of what we do. Right now our products are sold in 15 countries. There are a lot more countries out there. I’d love to have a sense that we’ve educated on mass scale of the transformative power of what we’re working with. Getting flower essences to a level where essential oils are now. Helping people reach their full potential faster in a more effortless way.
How do you deal with negative forces in your life?
If it’s a critic or a cynic, I embrace them fully. I bring them in and disarm them by telling them that they are right. You are right to have skepticism AND it is also foolish to push things away without having a personal experience. It’s foolish to listen to only doctors and it’s foolish to listen to scientific studies that are very often biased. The only way to truly know something is by your own personal experience and trusting in your own wisdom.
There’s a lot to sort through out there. There are a lot of people who take a weekend course and say they’re an expert at something. Look at a sword maker or a knife maker from Japan. They’ll be sharpening their swords for like eighty years of their life and still say that they don’t know everything that there is to know about making swords.
Who/what inspires you?
My teachers. Close friends. Members on my team. My dog who has been on the brink of death and then came back to life this year. Entrepreneurs. Salsa dancers in my community. Anyone who displays great character whether it’s determination, wisdom or skillful means inspires me. I’m always observing people because I believe how you do one thing is how you do everything. I love watching for that character in people.